Take a stand against unjust and inhumane detention of immigrants and asylum seekers in the US

This arrived in my inbox this afternoon from Amnesty USA, and I thought I should post it.

New research shows immigrants including asylum seekers fleeing torture and human trafficking are being unjustly detained.

Tell Janet Napolitano at the Dept of Homeland Security to fix this broken, unjust detention system.

Mr. N, a Buddhist monk, fled to the U.S. after he was tortured in Tibet for his religious beliefs. When he arrived in New York, he was immediately detained and never had a chance to argue for his case before a judge. After 10 months in detention, he was finally granted asylum. Tragically, Mr. N’s story is just one of many in our new report.

We found that countless cases of asylum seekers fleeing torture and long time lawful permanent residents are being unjustly detained in a broken and costly U.S. immigration detention system.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could issue new regulations that would quickly solve many of these problems. But instead, just three weeks ago, the office in charge of these policies testified before Congress that it plans to detain almost a hundred thousand more immigrants this year than last.

A HUNDRED THOUSAND MORE!? Yes, you read that right: 100,000 more people could be detained this year. Not 100,000 total, but an additional 100,000.

If that doesn’t alarm you, it should. Unless, of course, you’re an executive of a private prison corporation (ca-ching, baby! $$$), or an authoritarian megalomaniac like Joe Arpaio.

Tell the Dept. of Homeland Security that this is wrong, and that they need to fix this deeply flawed system of detention. We promise to hand deliver your signatures.


In our report, Jailed without Justice, we were shocked by what our researchers found:

Those in most dire need face a broken and cruel system of detention, instead of having their cases properly reviewed. Some fleeing abusive countries even consider going back to escape U.S. detention.

Lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, and survivors of torture are being detained while they fight for protection.

US citizens and lawful permanent residents can be detained for years without any review of their custody.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a resettlement worker and have to explain that to newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers who  fled oppressive regimes.

Meaningful oversight and accountability for abuse or neglect in detention is almost nonexistent individuals in detention often lack treatment for their medical needs and 74 people have died while in immigration detention over the past five years.

Although we’re working with members in both the Senate and House on legislation to permanently fix the problems, innocent people are suffering today, and need help now. Please sign our letter to Janet Napolitano.

Go sign the letter. I just did.


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